Following the Guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy to Advance Diplomatic Work in the New Era (Excerpt)

By: Yang JiechiFrom:English Edition of QiuShi Journal October-December 2018|Vol.10,No.4,Issue No.37 | Updated: 2018-Dec-21 17:37
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Recently, the Central Conference on Diplomatic Work was successfully convened. This is a historic conference held during a critical period of major worldwide development, transformation, and adjustment, and at a time when socialism with Chinese characteristics is entering a new era. The most important outcome of this conference is that it established the guiding position of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, which has a significant and far-reaching influence on our efforts to comprehensively implement the principles and arrangements of the 19th National Congress of the CPC in 2017 and further advance diplomatic work in the new era.

Participants in the China International Import Expo attend a group signing ceremony at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center on April 2, 2018. A total of 22 businesses from countries and regions including the United States, France, Italy, and Australia signed the participation agreement.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER FANG ZHE

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Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, facing a volatile international environment, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core has led China’s diplomatic work in overcoming difficulties and forging ahead while advancing the great cause of Chinese socialism in the new era. During this historical process, we have endured great risks and trials, won many tough battles, and accomplished epic feats. We are blazing a new path of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and are creating a favorable international environment for realizing the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. We have made persistent efforts to balance domestic and international considerations, maintain strategic confidence and resolve, facilitate innovations in diplomatic theories and practice, enhance strategic planning and global vision, safeguard China’s core and key interests, engage in mutually beneficial cooperation, balance the greater good and shared interests, adhere to worst-case scenario thinking, and improve risk awareness. Displaying great innovation, we have promoted major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, setting historic achievements and accumulating valuable experience.

Over the past five-plus years, General Secretary Xi Jinping has attached great importance to China’s diplomatic initiatives. He has devised strategic plans and implemented them personally, making 30 overseas trips and visiting 61 countries, covering all important regions, countries, and international organizations. Within his sweeping and high-momentum diplomatic practice, Xi has firmly grasped major domestic and global development trends and thought deeply about the future of humanity, setting forth a series of new ideas, propositions, and proposals rich with China’s unique characteristics and contemporary spirit, to guide the development and progress of humanity. Thus, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, namely Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, has been formed. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is based on an overall framework and core principle of “persistent efforts in ten aspects”; it defines the historic mission and overall goals of China’s diplomatic work in the new era and provides a series of guidelines and principles that must be upheld. It also provides deep insight into the essential requirements, inherent laws, and advancement of China’s major-country diplomacy in the new era.

First, persistent efforts should be made to strengthen the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC in its diplomatic work in maintaining the authority of the CPC Central Committee.

This is the fundamental guarantee for the success of China’s diplomacy as the country’s success hinges on the CPC. Maintaining the initiative in a complex international environment requires us to uphold the leadership of the Central Committee over China’s diplomacy, safeguard the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, and ensure that policies and decisions are strictly carried out in a unified manner. The CPC’s centralized, unified leadership and overall coordination on diplomatic work should be solidified, while all forces should be mobilized to jointly participate in and promote China’s diplomacy. This will create a situation in which the CPC has complete authority over and coordinates every aspect of diplomatic initiatives.

Second, persistent efforts should be made to promote China’s major-country diplomacy, which is tasked with realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

This is the historic mission bestowed upon China’s diplomatic work in the new era. The success of diplomatic efforts in the new era will provide multi-dimensional, total-coverage, and high-quality services for comprehensively deepening reform and opening up, as well as create a favorable external environment and gain more understanding and support in order to realize the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. We should firmly implement people-centered diplomatic principles, further integrate the development of China and the world, and strive to realize the common desire for a better life of the people in both China and the rest of the world.

Third, persistent efforts should be made to build a community with a shared future for humanity, with the aim of safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

This is the overall objective of China’s diplomacy in the new era. Building a community with a shared future for humanity requires that all countries work together to create an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. At the same time, we must promote a new model of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice, and mutually beneficial cooperation, and together follow a new path of interaction between nations. Building a community with a shared future for humanity is our goal and direction, while establishing a new model of international relations is the precondition and the path. We must conduct China’s diplomacy in such a way so as to guide the advancement of humankind, and open a path for the common development of China and the whole world.

Fourth, persistent efforts should be made to uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics as the fundamental means by which we will strengthen our strategic confidence.

This is the basic requirement that our diplomatic work must meet in the new era. Confidence in our path, theories, system, and culture is the source of our strength and the foundation of our belief, embodying the will of the state, our national spirit, and China’s international image in the new era. The constant development of China’s socialist path, theories, system, and culture is China’s contribution of wisdom and method to solving the problems facing humanity. We will always champion Chinese socialism to strengthen our strategic confidence, thus enriching China’s diplomatic work with root and soul, and paving an even brighter path for China’s major-country diplomacy.

Fifth, persistent efforts should be made to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative in line with the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration.

This is the overarching design for China’s opening up and international cooperation and will remain so for a considerable period of time to come; it is also an important platform for implementing the concept of a community with a shared future for humanity. The notion of the Belt and Road Initiative originated in China, but the opportunities and benefits it may generate will spread throughout the world. The building of the Belt and Road will enhance policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade route expansion, capital flow, and the fostering of friendship between China and relevant countries. The Initiative will also ensure that the principle of shared growth through discussion and collaboration is translated into cooperation outcomes that benefit all. Carrying forward the “Silk Road Spirit,” we should share development opportunities with other countries, and open up prospects for common development.

Sixth, persistent efforts should be made to follow a path of peaceful development based on mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation.

This is a basic principle that must be upheld in China’s diplomatic initiatives on a long-term basis. China’s commitment to an independent foreign policy of peace, a path of peaceful development, and a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up is a strategic choice made in line with its national conditions and fundamental interests. Peace entails mutual respect, just as development entails mutually beneficial cooperation; China and other countries of the world should follow a path of peaceful development together. China will continue its role as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order.

Seventh, persistent efforts should be made to develop global partnerships by improving our diplomatic layout.

This is an important quality of China’s diplomacy in the new era. Promoting coordination and cooperation with other major countries will help us in our efforts to build a framework for major-country relations characterized by overall stability and balanced development. We will strengthen relations with our neighboring countries according to the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendships and partnerships with our neighbors. Adhering to the principle of doing greater good while pursuing shared interests and the concept of sincerity, practical results, affinity, and good faith, China will work to strengthen unity and cooperation with other developing countries. On this basis, we will actively enhance multilateral diplomatic initiatives and constantly deepen and improve our diplomatic layout. Our aim is to create a comprehensive, diverse, and multi-dimensional network of global partnerships and build a worldwide circle of friends.

Eighth, persistent efforts should be made to reform the global governance system according to the principles of fairness and justice.

This is an important target of China’s diplomacy in the new era. As the global governance system enters an important period of profound change, global governance has increasingly become a key issue at the forefront of China’s diplomacy. The window of opportunity is open for us to shoulder responsibility and actively participate in the reform and development of the global governance system, advocate democracy and rule of law in international relations, support the United Nations to play an active role, and encourage other developing countries to increase their representation and voice in international affairs. By doing so, we will actively facilitate the establishment of a more balanced global governance system that reflects the wishes and interests of the majority of countries.

Ninth, persistent efforts should be made to safeguard our national sovereignty, security, and development interests, with our core national interests as the inviolable bottom line.

This is the starting point and ultimate goal of China’s diplomacy. We must resolutely uphold the leadership of the CPC and the system of Chinese socialism, safeguard our national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity, crack down on separatism in all its forms, work actively to guarantee economic and financial security, and effectively safeguard our overseas interests. If we are to protect our reform, development, and national rejuvenation initiatives, then it is vital to continue enriching and developing our means of safeguarding national interests, and effectively forestall and defuse various risks and challenges.

Tenth, persistent efforts should be made to create a unique brand of diplomacy for China by combining the fine traditions and contemporary features of our diplomatic work.

This is the symbol of China’s diplomatic spirit. We Chinese are a peace-loving people with an indomitable spirit, who regard the world as a commonwealth shared by all. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, we have formed distinct diplomatic traditions that are characterized by independence, peaceful development, and mutually beneficial cooperation. On entering the new era, China has presented a pioneering and enterprising new diplomatic face that is in keeping with the times, and has formed an effective array of strategic thinking and tactical methods. Carrying forward our fine traditions while continuing to enrich and develop our diplomatic strategies is how we will broaden the horizons for China’s major-country diplomacy.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is an important component of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. It is an important theoretical crystallization integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s major-country diplomacy, and a distillation of how the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core thinks about national governance in the diplomatic field. It is the fundamental basis and guide for China’s diplomatic efforts in the new era.

Locals celebrate by singing and dancing next to one of the first diesel locomotives on the Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Mombasa, Kenya.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER SUN RUIBO

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We must be conscientious in our efforts to attain a thorough understanding and full grasp of the theoretical essence and scientific quality of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. We must truly align our thoughts and actions with General Secretary Xi’s important speeches, the guiding principles of the Central Conference on Diplomatic Work, and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.

1. We need to accurately grasp major trends in both China and the world in the new era.

Xi Jinping emphasized that a proper understanding of the international landscape must be based on a correct outlook on history, on the bigger picture, and on the role of our country. Viewing from the history, we will undoubtedly face various difficulties and challenges on the road ahead. Beginning from a point of domestic and foreign strategy integration, we must courageously enter the fray, and carry out a great struggle that has many contemporary characteristics. Viewing from the bigger picture, peace and development continue to be the main theme of our era. Therefore, we should continue to uphold the principles of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, strive to develop a new model of international relations, and build a community with a shared future for humanity, in an untiring effort to advance the noble cause of peace and development for humankind. Viewing from the role of our country, as China steadily moves toward global center stage, its development has become closely linked with the outside world. Thus, we need to remain firmly committed to the path of peaceful development, participate in global governance more actively, and play a greater role in international affairs. We need to understand at a deeper level any new changes in the development of China and the world, clearly recognize new connotations and accurately grasp new patterns in China’s global relations and interactions, and actively steer our country and the world in a new direction.

2. We need to be effective in our diplomatic work during the historic convergence of the Two Centenary Goals.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the period between the 19th and the 20th national congresses of the CPC is when the timeframes of the Two Centenary Goals converge, a period of special significance in the Chinese nation’s historic path to rejuvenation. During this period, we should fully understand and pay attention to both the trend of accelerated global multi-polarity, and the ongoing profound adjustments in major-country relations; both the trend of continued development of economic globalization, and the ongoing profound changes in the global economic landscape; both the trend of stability of the international environment, and the existing complex international security challenges; and both the trend of proliferating intercultural exchanges and mutual learning, and the reality of clashing ideas and cultures. It is the responsibility of China’s diplomatic work to properly respond to and defuse the various risks and challenges arising from the superimposition of China’s period of historic convergence with the transitional period of global transformation. We need to balance domestic and international considerations, and strengthen strategic and comprehensive planning, in a bid to create a favorable external environment for national development and rejuvenation.

3. We need to resolutely implement the Central Committee’s strategic arrangements regarding diplomatic work.

Xi Jinping emphasized that we should constantly create new prospects for our diplomacy based on the focal points of the work of the Party and the country; that we should uphold the building of a community with a shared future for humanity in order to push the global governance system in a fairer and more equitable direction; that we should uphold the principle of shared growth through discussion and collaboration to ensure that the Belt and Road Initiative achieves a deeper and more practical level of significance, progresses steadily, and has far-reaching outcomes; that we should properly manage China’s relations with other major countries and build a framework for major-country relations characterized by overall stability and balanced development; that we should maintain good diplomatic practice with neighboring countries to create a more friendly and favorable surrounding environment; that we should deepen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries and work together in opening up new prospects for common development; and that we should promote a deeper level of exchange and mutual learning between China and the rest of the world. By implementing the strategic arrangements of the Central Committee and grasping domestic and global trends in the new era, we can facilitate the rise of China’s major-country diplomacy to new heights in accordance with the central theme of serving national rejuvenation and promoting human progress.

4. We need to constantly strengthen the CPC’s centralized, unified leadership of China’s diplomatic work.

Xi Jinping pointed out that diplomacy is a direct embodiment of the will of the state, and that we must insist that the country’s diplomatic authority rests with the Central Committee. The defining feature of Chinese socialism is the leadership of the CPC, and it is this leadership that is also the greatest strength of the system of Chinese socialism. The historic achievements of China’s diplomacy since the 18th National Congress are a direct result of the firm leadership of the Central Committee, and the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. In firmly upholding the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee led by Xi Jinping, we will ensure that the CPC acts as an overall leader and coordinator in all aspects of China’s diplomatic initiatives, and that the Central Committee’s principles, policies, and strategic arrangements related to diplomacy are implemented.

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No. 15, 2018)

Yang Jiechi is Member of the Political Bureau of the 19th CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Leading Group of the CPC Central Committee.